Mel Anastasiou

The Labours of Mrs Stella Ryman

Replete with packet chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese, Stella Ryman paused just outside Fairmount Manor’s dining room, where she used the sleeve of her fleece warm-up suit to wipe the condensation from the streaked and fog-edged windows along the corridor.  There was so much springtime glory outside Fairmount — although she was not allowed out on her own to see it — and there was so much gloom inside, that she didn’t want to add to it. But she couldn’t deny that trouble had resurfaced at Fairmount Manor.
When the machineries of institution fail to protect Fairmount Manor, octogenarian amateur sleuth Mrs Stella Ryman rolls up her fleece jacket sleeves to protect Fairmount from a thief, investigate a gun-toting resident, set right a mishandled investigation of a man’s death, pursue spectres and footpads walking at midnight, and discover Thelma Hu’s long-lost fortune.  No good deed goes unpunished, though, and Stella will face struggles, mysteries, and sacrifices that hit her where she lives.
Mrs Stella Ryman is a fish out of water, a stranger in a strange land — an amateur sleuth, trapped in a down-at-heel care home.  You’d be cranky, too.
219 printed pages
Original publication

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